I carve a rune for Thomas Arnel

The painter Thomas Arnel fight for his life these days in a hospital. He has been an inspiration for me through my life, a great artist, a magnificent craftsman. Though he is not dead yet and hopefully will recover his illness, I feel urged to carve this rune for him.

He was born in 1922 in Copenhagen, but has lived his life in the city of Aarhus. His debut was in 1949 and he got his breakthrough at the 1953 Artist's Easter Exhibition, where he for many years participated. His work is represented in the major art museums in Denmark and abroad. He has exhibited in the USA and Britain and throughout Europe. He is the most outstanding danish surrealist. And creator of a special universe of poetry, women and very disturbing creatures. Always on elaborate bicycles:) Arnel has sold to a lot of prominent buyers including the Prince Concort Henri of Denmark, who bought 5 pieces for distribution among familymembers. The prince is said to have said:"Thomas Arnel is the greatest danish surrealist ever."

From early childhood he loved cartoons and has made a lot through the years. Started with small strips in magazines, illustrated "Treasure Island" and in later years he has made graphic novels about his hero Ofil, who has his adventures in deeply surreal surroundings.

His preferred medium is the scraperboard. A board covered in chalk and black verneer. You scrape through the black surface and the chalk appears, making it possible for you to make extremely fine lines. As opposite to wood carvings. He has made oilpaintings too, but always with the emphasis on the drawing and the story. I show you here some examples of scraperboard, pen and wood carving.

You can google Thomas Arnel and get more info. Mostly is in dansh I'm sorry to say. But maybe someday someone will write his bio in english. Thomas Arnel is a very mild mannered man, great sense of humour and irony. A "mensch". Thomas Arnel is my uncle and I copied him a lot growing up. We have always had the same preference for surrealism. But where Arnel is poetic I'm more brutal and german, I'm sad to say. Would like to have his poetic sense. I carve this rune, I, Torben, nephew of Thomas.

1. march 2010
I'm happy to say that the recent bulletins about Thomas Arnel are good. The fever has left him, the penicilin has kicked in. He has been up, and he has eaten some soup. The hospital is looking for a place where he can restitute. All in all good news. May he be stronger by the day.

12. march 2010
Thomas Arnel is now safely in a retreat where he is served delicious meals to fatten him up. He is still weak, but have his mind on a book on him, that interrested fans are working on.

19. april 2010
Thomas Arnel is now working together with his family and Claus Brusen on the book that will cover his entire lifestory. Great news and I'm looking forward to see the result. Claus Brusen has made a lot of exquisite artbooks through his outstanding publishinghouse.

21. april
Thomas Arnel caught pneumonia last week. He was too frail to fight it and died peacefully at the hospital in Aarhus last night 20.15. My condolences to his family. Our thoughts are with them these hard days.

29. april
Thomas Arnel's funeral was yesterday attended by family, friends and fans. And I'm pleased to say, that the ongoing project of making a book on Arnel is very much alive. I hope, we soon shall see a book with the ultimate bio and story of this great surrealist.